U O D Z Z POINT AIT PELEE ISLAND, IN LAKE ERIE ; NOW THE TOWNSHIP OF PELEE, IN ESSEX, ONTARIO. PATENTED TO THE MEMBERS OP THE McCORMICK FAMILY, IN 1867 INCORPORATED AS AN INDEPENDENT MUNICIPALITY IN 1868. THE LANDS ON" WHICH ARE NTOW OFFERED TO THE PUBLIC, FOR SALE, AT CHEAP RATES AND ON EASY TERMS OF PAYMENT. ARTHUR MONTGOMERY McCORMICK, Esq., WILLIAM CHARLES McCORMICK, Township Clerk. S. S. MACDONELL, Esq., Solicitor, Windsor, Ontario. TORONTO: W. C. CHEWETT & Co., PRINTERS, KING STREET EAST. 1 8 69. POINT A ll PELEE ISLAND, IN LAKE ERIE ; NOW TIIE TOWNSHIP OF PELEE, IN ESSEX, ONTARIO. PATENTED TO THE MEMBERS OF THE McCORMICK FAMILY, IN 1867 INCORPORATED AS AN INDEPENDENT MUNICIPALITY IN 1868. THE LANDS ON WHICH ARE NOW OFFERED TO THE PUBLIC, FOR SALE, AT CHEAP RATES AND ON EASY TERMS OF PAYMENT. ARTHUR MONTGOMERY McCORMICK, Esq., Reeve. WILLIAM CHARLES McCORMICK, Township Clerk. S. S. MACDONELL, Esq., Solicitor, Windsor, Ontario. TORONTO: W. C. CHEWETT & Co., PRINTERS, KING STREET EAST. 1 8 69. PRINTED AT THE STEAM PRESS ESTABLISHMENT OF W. C. CHEWETT & CO., KING STREET EAST, TORONTO. POINT AU PELEE ISLAND. NOW THE TOWNSHIP OF PELEE, IN ESSEX. SITUATION. The Island of Point au Pelee* is situated in latitude 41° 47* and longitude 81° 39', in Lake Erie. It is the most southern hind within the Dominion of Canada; Jutting, out from the main land of Essex into Lake Erie, almost due south, for about nine miles, is the Point au Pelee. Nearly opposite to this point, and distant about six miles from the extreme end of the point, is the island named after it. The island itself stretches its length of eight miles in the same southerly course, having an average width of three miles and a half. It is by far the largest of the group of islands that lie at the head of Lake Erie, between the mouth of the Detroit river and a line drawn from Point au Pelee* to Sandusky.. It is distant six miles from North Bas Island, seven from Kelley's, and ten from Middle Bas^and Put-in Bay Islands.. These other islands just named are American, and the most important of the Erie- Archipelago ; and generally designated and known to the public as the " Grape Islands of Lake Erie." From cities and towns on the main land of Ohio, Michigan and Canada, Pelee* Island is distant from Cleveland fifty-two miles, from Sandusky eighteen, from Toledo forty, from Detroit and Windsor fifty, and from Kingsville, the nearest port of entry in Essex, fourteen and a half miles. 4 The original tenure under which Pelee Island was held was an Indian donation, and is interesting as a matter of history. HISTORY. In the year 1783, two years before the cession of the western part of Canada to the British government by the Indians, the chiefs and sachems of the bands of the Chippawa and Ottawa Nations of Indians, then owning and inhabiting Point an Pelee' Island, executed and delivered to Capt. Thomas McKee, Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the West, and having considerable influence amongst the Indians by wliom lie was recognized as a chief, a lease of the island for 999 years, at a nominal rent. In 1823, Alexander, the son and heir-at-law of Captain Thomas McKee, by a deed of bargain and sale, conveyed the whole of the Island to William McCormick; and from that time William McCormick occupied the island as his own pro- perty, improving and building upon it, by himself and his tenants, up to the time of his death in 1840, bringing up and establishing on it a numerous family of eight sons and three daughters, to whom he devised the island in equal shares by his will. Of these eleven children — Charles died in 1844, a minor, unmarried and intestate ; Alexander, in 1854, intestate, leav- ing a widow and children ; John, in 1856, leaving children and intestate ; and Mary, in 1861, leaving a will devising her estate equally amongst her surviving brothers and sisters. In the year 1865, as the title of the McCormick's to the island under this Indian lease had been questioned, the surviv- ing members of the family of William McCormick petitioned the Government to have their title confirmed by a patent from the Crown. After a very careful examination into all the facts of the case, an order in Council was passed in 1866, directing that free patents should be issued to the representatives of 5 William McCormick, and in accordance with the provisions of Lis will ; and in June, 1867, tins order was carried into effect and patents issued for tlie wLole island. On being patented, tLe island came under tbe provisions of tlie municipal and assessment laws of tLe province, and for these purposes formed a portion of tLe township of Mersea, tLe greater portion of it being witLin tLe limits produced of that township. But as it was obviously inconvenient to have the local interests of an island, fifteen miles distant, entrusted to a municipal manage- ment on the main land, the legislature of Ontario passed an act, in March, 1868, erecting the island into the municipality of Pel ee*. And, having in view the peculiarity of its case as an island, the 26th section of the Municipal Institutions' Act, which provides for the withdrawal of towns from the juris- diction of county councils, was made applicable to the new municipality. TAXATION. Availing themselves of this provision in their charter, the inhabitants of Pelee immediately took the necessary proceed- ings for withdrawal ; and having come to an agreement with the County Council of Essex for the payment of a yearly con- tribution through five years, from January 1st, 1869, in lieu of all rates for county purposes, the proclamation of the Lieu- tenant Governor of Ontario was issued on December 23rd, 1868, withdrawing Pelee from the jurisdiction of the County Council of Essex for five years. The local affairs of Pelee are thus entirely in the hands of its inhabitants, without the interference of others having dis- similar interests ; and without the risk of a varying or unfair taxation for county purposes, the whole rates being commuted at the sum of $110 annually through the period of five years, when another term will be again arranged for. As the local municipal government is and will be carried on with the least possible expense, it is safe to say that in no place within the ^Dominion will local taxes be so inconsiderable and remain so low as in the township of Pelee\ CLIMATE. Not only because of its more southern latitude, but by reason t)f other influences, the climate of Pelee* is the most genial and the most favourable for the culture of fruit that we have within the Dominion. Placed mid-lake, the surrounding waters produce immunity from frosts, as well in the early spring as late in the autumn, protecting the blossoms in spring and ensuring the full maturity of the fruit in the fall. Its climate may be compared to that of Virginia. Frosts occur in Ken- tucky later in the spring and earlier in the autumn than they do in Point au Pelee Island. GRAPE CULTURE. What the island is most especially adapted for is the culture of the grape. For this it possesses advantages even beyond the other islands mentioned above, and distinguished by the name of " the Grape Islands." Its soil is more varied, deeper and richer. Besides it has an additional advantage in its area being so much larger than that of any one of the other islands, that it affords abundance of pasture land and land for the cul- tivation of necessary farm products and vegetables for a large population ; a point in which the other islands are deficient, owing to their limited area and the sameness of the soil and formation. The development of the grape culture on the islands of Lake Erie is very little known abroad, but it is as astonishing as the growth of any trade or branch of industry in the United States. About sixteen years ago it was com- menced on Kelley's Island, and now thousands of tons of grapes are annually exported from the islands, for sale throughout the country, in baskets and boxes ; and hundreds of thousands of gallons of wine annually manufactured. The most excellent of these wines, it is conceded, is the Catawba. A wine sai generis and already obtaining a place and name in some of the f Capitals of Europe. It has been abundantly proved tliat the Catawba comes to the greatest perfection on the islands of Lake Erie, perhaps from the circumstance that frosts never occur until long after the vintage. Whereas even at Cincin- nati frosts check and sometimes prevent the proper maturity of the berries and the full development of the liquor. What- ever may be the cause, it is certain that the wine makers of St. Louis and Cincinnati eagerly seek for the grapes raised on the islands to mix with their own in the manufacture of wine. There are of course a number of other kinds of grapes that have their advocates that are raised with advantage on these islands, as the Delaware, Concord, Ionia, Ive's Seedling and Norton's Virginia Seedling, and these two come to greater perfection than they can be brought to on the main land. Perhaps the rapid growth of the grape trade on the American islands is best illustrated in the increase in the price of land* In 1856, land could be purchased on any of the islands at $10 per acre. At the present time, the same sort of land cannot be purchased at a less price than $400 per acre. CAUSE FOR THE ISLAND NOT BEING PEOPLED LONG AGO. Owing to the uncertainty attached to the tenure under which the Island of Pelee was held, no change of ownership took place from the members of the McCormick family until the year 1866. Neither could any of the McCormick family themselves feel safe in embarking in the enterprise of planting vineyards. But immediately upon the favorable reception of their memorial by the Government, several contracts of sale and purchase were entered into, and vineyards were com- menced. This year (1869) as many as sixty acres will be in full bearing. Messrs. Williams, Smith & Co., gentlemen from Kentucky, have a beautiful vineyard of thirty acres planted with the choicest varieties. Mr.Wardrope, a vineyard of eight acres. Mr. Huffman, one of two acres ; and several members of the McCormick family, vineyards, which taken together, would cover more than twenty acres. s It is now their desire to throw their lands into market and to offer to all who have the inclination of following the fascin- ating and profitable occupation of vigneures, an opportunity of carrying out their wishes, by selling suitable lands at moderate prices and on easy terms of payment. INDUCEMENTS FOR SETTLEMENT ON THE ISLAND. Those who desire to lead a quiet, peaceful life, in a healthful, delightful climate, economically, andv away from the fashion and extravagance of crowded cities, having the enjoyment of fishing, hunting, bathing and boating in their season, free from the burden of taxation, deriving an ample profit from pleasing labor, and yet, withal, within easy reach and immediate com- munication with the outside world, may be induced to settle on Point au Pelee* Island. Arrangements are already made for the through boats from Cleveland to Detroit to touch at the Island on their trips to and fro'. Besides these, a regular line of boats between the Island and mainland of Canada and the United States, will be established. Arrangements likewise are perfected for a submarine cable, passing from Kingsville to the Island, thus bringing the Island in direct and instant communication with the rest of the world. Negotiations are now going on for the establishment of three first class hotels, at different points on the Island, which will in all probability be put up during the summer. An Episcopal Church will be built, and arrangements made for the erection of a school house ; for the endowment of which one hundred acres of land have been left by the will of the late William McCormick. Application has been made for the establishment of a Post Office. And it may be mentioned in anticipation of the enquiry that there is a regularly licensed physician resident on the Island. Should there be any who might be attracted to the Island, not choosing to adopt the life of vigneures, for them a home and a livelihood may be obtained from other and different occupations. Splendid limestone quarries abound on the Island, timber and arable lands for the ordinary purposes of cultivation, that would well repay the efforts of any industrious man, bestowed upon them. And those pursuing the usual trades in life, would find ample demand for their labor.* It may be observed that according to the Government survey, the lots into which the Island is subdivided are not uniform either in size or shape, varying from lots of seven acres to lots of three hundred acres. But purchasers may acquire lands in any quantity they may desire from an acre to one hundred acres on any of the holdings of the Island. Commencing at the northern point of the Island, we shall give a brief description of the different holdings on the Island now offered for sale. First after the light-house reservation of twenty acres, viz : — 1. The estate of Charles : — This estate is subdivided amongst the surviving brothers and sisters of Charles and the children of his deceased brothers Alexander and John, in lots or parcels of about thirty acres each. * The area of the Island is 11,000 acres. The whole Island under the will of the late William McCormick, was devised in equal shares amongst his eleven children. A few changes have taken place owing to deaths and other causes in the distribution of these shares. For the information of those who may feel disposed to entertain the project of settling on the Island, we will proceed to describe the different situations and qualities of the several estates on the Island — all of which may be considered in the market — with an approximation to the price per acre, at which lands may be purchased. 10 Nearly the whole of this estate is cleared and improved. All of it is adapted to the cultivation of the grape. The land is well situated on North Bay, capable of good drainage, and has extensive and valuable quarries on it. There is a wharf built opposite to Lot 15 on this estate ; and there is a good vineyard of six acres on Lot 15. The lots comprised in this estate are those numbered on the map from 2 to 17 inclusive, and also Lot 20. Lands on this estate may be purchased at from $50 to $100 per acre according to condition and situation. 2. Belonging to the estate of Mary. Lot 18, containing fifty-two acres, having on it a well built stone house, finished inside with black walnut. Lot 19, containing twenty acres, having on it a two story frame house. Land on these lots is held at $100 per acre. The buildings would be estimated at a reasonable valuation, in a purchase of the lots on which they stand. At the north-west point of North Bay is the estate of Thomas Cornwall. It comprises 412 acres, and consists of Lots 20, 21, 22 and 23. Out of this estate has been sold forty acres to Messrs. Williams and Smith : thirty of which have been put in grapes of the finest varieties, and on which they have constructed a very large and expensive cellar for storing wine, as well as a fine dwelling of stone. The price given for this parcel of forty acres, by Mr. "Williams, was $100 per acre. John Stuart, Esquire, of Ottawa, lias purchased Lot 22, containing ten acres, at $100 per acre. •ll Sheriff McEwan, of Sandwich, has bought five acres, being part of Lot 20, at the same price per acre. And Angus Huffman, part of Lot 23, containing ten acres, at the same price. Mr. Huffman has planted two acres in vines which are now in full bearing. Thomas C. McCormick, the proprietor, has also two acres in grapes. This estate contains valuable quarries coming to the water's edge of a good harbor called North Bay. It has a good wharf built for a steamboat landing. The land is beautifully rolling with fine groves of trees, and all of it fit for grape culture. 4. The estate of William lies on the west side of the Island. It consists of a block of 300 acres of land, numbered in the map as Lot 24. The land on this estate is composed of very rich deep soil. Twelve acres and a half have been sold to Mr. Wardroper, at $100 per acre ; on which he has planted nine acres of grapes. William McCormick himself has four acres of grapes. There are eighty or ninety acres of cleared land in the block, w T ith .good barns, outhouses, orchards, &c. There is an ex- cellent stone quarry on this block. The cleared land in this estate would be held at the same rate as the purchase of Mr. Wardroper, but the uncleared land may be obtained at a lower price. Lot 26, containing sixty-one acres, and situated below Arthur McCormick's block, may be mentioned here as belonging to William McCormick. It consists of excellent land, and will be sold at reasonable rates as wild land. Lot 49, containing thirty-five acres of wild land, also belongs to William. 5. The estate of Arthur Montgomery lies on the west side of the island next to William's. It contains 300 acres, and is numbered 25 on the map. There are about 90 acres of cleared 12* land on this estate, with dwelling house, orchards, &c. There is a vineyard of about five acres on it. An excellent wharf for a steamboat landing has been built near Arthur's house. There is 'also a good stone quarry in this block. Land on this estate would be held at the same rate as is that on the adjoin- ing one of William. Number 50, a lot of 102 acres of wild land, in the second range from the west side of the island, also belongs to Arthur, is of a good quality, and would be sold at a lower rate per acre than land on the front. 6. The estate of Lucinda Elizabeth, as the assignee of David, consists of what is known as the Knoll farm. It is numbered as 29 on the map, and contains 300 acres. It lies along the west side of the island. Every acre of it is rich, excellent land, and of the best quality for grape culture. It slopes well from the rear towards the front on the lake, and affords admirable facilities for drainage. There are no quarries on this tract ; only ten acres of it are cleared, the rest being covered with a beautiful growth of wood of different sorts ; and valuable land may be purchased on this tract in any quantity for vineyards, and at prices from $50 to $100, according to situation. Lots numbered 46, 47 and 48, containing 102 acres, lie at the rear of the Knoll farm, in woods, containing good land, and may be bought at cheap rates. 7. The estate of Peregrine lies at the southern point of the island, and extends across it, comprising lots 30, 68, 69 and 70. Lot 30 is a farm block of 300 acres. It is a good farm, although not so elevated as lot 29, just mentioned. None of this block is sold, but it is in the market, as the rest. About 100 acres are cleared. There are large farm buildings on the property. Lands on this block may be purchased at from $50 to $100 per acre. Lot 70 is composed of the Sand Point, part of which has been sold recently at $50 per acre. .13 Lot 27, containing sixty-one acres, on the west side of the island, on the front, and adjacent to the Knoll farm, belongs to Peregrine, is excellent land, and for sale as wild land. Also Lot 31, containing sixty-two acres, and situated in the second range of lots. It is also wild land, and may be pur- chased cheaper than lands on the front. 8. The estate of Lucinda (in her own right) lies at the south east point of the island. It consists of lot 34, containing 161 acres, and lot 55, containing 138 acres. All of this estate is composed of good soil. About 70~acres of this is cleared. The location is good, fronting to the south. There are three acres already planted in grapes. Land may be purchased at cheap rates. Lot 33, containing 102 acres, and being wild land, also belongs to Lucinda and is for sale. 9. The estate of John (which is divided amongst his five chil- dren, who are now of age) consists of lots 35, 30, 37, 38 and 39, and Lots 43, 44, 51, 52 and 53, which are interior lots, and are in wood, containing altogether 402 acres. There is built on this property a fine wharf, running out into the lake 700 feet, and suitable for the large class steam- boats to touch at. It is in contemplation to erect a large first class hotel at this place. There are about 100 acres cleared on this property. Any portion of it may be purchased at mode- rate rates. 10. The estate of Alexander consists of Lots 41, 42, 43 and 54, and contains 402 acres. This estate is at present not in the market, the heirs of Alexander not being yet of age. 11. The estate of Sarah Ann consists of Lot 56, contain- ing 313 acres, and constitutes the southerly portion of Middle Island. This lot is admirably adapted for a grazing farm, and has remaining on it a considerable quantity of valu- able cedar. 14 Lot 32, containing 91 acres of wild land (also belonging to Sarah Ann), being in the second range of lots from the front, may be purchased at cheap rates. 12. The estate of Mary : The body of lands forming the share of Mary, consisting ot Lot 57, containing 313 acres, and forms the northern portion of Middle Island ; being of the same character as the southerly part, and is adapted for grazing and general farming pur- poses, and has considerable cedar remaining on it. As this estate is to be sold under the directions of Mary's will, land may be purchased here at cheap rates. The Proprietors of the lands which are thus briefly described are all resident on the island. But any further information that may be desired by parties who may think of settling on the island will be furnished on application to Capt. David Mc- Cormick, Kingsville, P. O., Essex; or to S. S. Macdonell, Esq., Windsor ; or to Alex. Wilkinson, Provincial Land Surveyor, at Sandwich ; or to Dr. F. B. McCormick, at Pelee* Island. A copy of this pamphlet will be sent, gratis, to any person who may make application for it by letter, enclosing postage stamp, to any of the above named gentlemen. W. C. CHEWETT & CO., PRINTERS, KING STREET EAST, TORONTO.